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35th District Candidate: Don Nevills

By Elizabeth Laughlin
The Tube City Almanac
February 05, 2023
Posted in: Politics & Elections

Website: www.electdonnevills.com

Don Nevills is the endorsed Republican candidate for the 35th Legislative District. The election is Tuesday (Feb. 7):

Tell me about yourself.

I’m a 14-year Navy veteran and a business owner of 28 years. I’ve owned various tattoo shops, including one in the Southside of Pittsburgh, and a cotton candy store. I was a member of the Clairton Redevelopment Authority Board and the Clairton Municipal Utilities Authority Board. I live in Clairton, and I represent the people—not a party, not an agenda. I believe that in the 35th District, we’re underrepresented [in Harrisburg], if represented at all.

Why is running for state representative so important to you?

I’ve always served the people—I’ve always enjoyed helping others, speaking with them. I’ve done over 20,000 tattoos, and through talking to others, I learned that people just want to live a comfortable life.

I started my political campaign in 2019, when I ran for Congress. But I refocused to my local community and being able to bring change. What can I bring back to the local community? I’m tired of the politicians doing what they want. I take this job like the military—it’s 24/7. I’m always on call.

Which skills do you think people in this role should have?

Communication is the number-one skill that you should have. I can talk to anybody about anything. I plan on having town hall meetings to hear what the community has to say. I need to talk to all the mayors in each community—I have to understand each community first. I’m going to make myself available to talk. I’m also very transparent.

What would you like to accomplish as a state representative?

I am most focused on safety and security and the economy. There is a rising crime rate, juvenile crime rate, in this area. We have to get that under control. We have to end policies like Early Release, and we have to make criminals responsible. We can’t defund the police: we need to make sure they have their resources and their training.

[Regarding the economy], the Mon Valley Expressway will have an extension in the next two years that will drop people off into Duquesne and McKeesport. This will help businesses to come in. We have a lot of empty stores and industrial sites that we can use.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Another thing I’d like to talk about is helping with the air quality in our area. We’ve come a long way, but we still have issues. When I was growing up, the mountain out my window was brown. Now it’s lush and green. U.S. Steel had permits at the health department to build a co-generation plant. But they left about a year ago. None of our representatives beat their hands on the desk—they did nothing. I want to approach U.S. Steel to help with this.

Elizabeth Laughlin is a freelance writer and a doctoral student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate assistant who runs the department newsletter and writes for a digital project. She writes for Modern Language Studies, and her short story, "Twenty-Seven," is being published in their journal.

Originally published February 05, 2023.

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